10 Best Ski and Snowboard Tuning Vises
Maintaining your skis or snowboard is important for your performance on the mountain. However, it gets expensive to take your gear to the local shop everytime you need a tune up. In this post, we review the best ski and snowboard tuning vises to make this task easy and efficient to do at home.
Tuning vises provide a platform for your skis or snowboard and keep them secure while you work on them. They clamp down to the edge of your working surface and make the overall tuning process much more efficient. So, in addition to a tuning kit that contains the proper wax and tools, you should also invest in tuning vises to take care of your skis or board at home.
Ski and Snowboard Tuning Vises: Product Overview
Best Ski and Snowboard Tuning Vises
The Swix World Cup Ski Vise is compatible with most skis with its wide jaws and easy to use design. The clamps have an opening range of 40 – 100 mm and provide a firm grip while tuning. They also secure snugly to any standard work surface or table.
Featuring three adjustable clamps, the Swix World Cup Ski Vise is extremely versatile. You can work with your skis or board horizontal or vertical to get the right edge or top sheet work you need. Because of its flexibility and sturdiness, the Swix World Cup ranks at the top of our list for best ski and snowboard tuning vises.
The XCMAN All Metal Alpine Ski Vise keeps your skis stable so you can tune them with ease. With an opening range of 35 – 110 mm, the jaws of this vise can handle skis of all sizes. The end supports also have independent clamps to stabilize your skis for edge work.
Rubber pads are placed on top of the jaws so that your ski bases can rest gently while you adjust the bindings or perform top sheet work. The vises can clamp to working surfaces up to 60 mm thick, and the end supports can pivot up to 30 degrees. This provides multiple angle settings to give you better visibility while tuning your side edges. Last, but certainly not least, a pair of ski brake retainers are also included.
Built from entirely metal, the RaceWax World Cup Ski Vise is durable and keeps your skis or board completely steady for tuning. The jaws have an opening range of 40-90 mm, and a 60 mm gripping length on the center clamp. A pair of ski brake retainers are also included.
With a versatile design, the end vises can rotate in two directions, offering multiple angle settings and optimal visibility while tuning. The end supports’ height can also be adjusted. For snowboards, you may need a separate adapter to ensure a proper fit.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one package, look no further than the Demon United Muzzle Ski Vise. These high quality vises are sturdy and come with an apron to keep your clothes clean while you’re tuning, as well as two ski brake retainers. Constructed from aluminum, they’re also lightweight but durable.
Highly adjustable, the tip and tail clamps have an opening range from 40 to 90 mm, and the center clamps open to 110 mm. The end supports can also pivot up to 30 degrees in either direction, giving you multiple angle settings to choose from. Lastly, each clamp features rubber to protect your gear.
The Swix Snowboard Grip Vise is perfect for any snowboarder looking to sharpen their edges or add a fresh coat of wax before their next ride. The vises are easily adjustable and can clamp to a table or work surface up to 57 mm thick. You can mount your board base up or on its side, depending on the type of tuning you’re trying to accomplish.
Although many of the options on this list can be used for either skis or snowboard, this is the only dedicated snowboard tuning vise. Therefore, if you know you’ll only be tuning snowboards, this is a great choice. The Swix Snowboard Grip Vise is easy to use and helps provide a sturdy, stable platform for your tuning needs.
The Toko Free vise is a three-piece setup that works with most skis. It features a solid center clamp that can open up to 155 mm, which is great for tall sidewalls or bindings. In addition, your skis or board can be positioned at a 60 or 90 degree angle for enhanced control during tuning.
A rubber grip secures your gear and prevents slipping. The vises are made of strong metal and thus should last you many seasons. The Toko Free vises are more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but their high quality construction and intuitive design make them well worth it.
Lightweight and portable, the Wintersteiger Sport Plus is great for those with smaller work spaces or plans to take their tuning kit with them on a trip. It features a uniquely designed clamp that allows for 0, 60, and 90 degree positioning for base and edge work.
Rubber suction cups mount your skis or board securely while you’re tuning. This set of vises also includes an integrated strap for you to fasten your bindings to the center clamp. Like standard vises, the Wintersteiger Sports Plus comes with two ski brake retainers as well.
The Winterial Ski and Snowboard Vise is constructed with heavy duty materials and should serve your tuning needs for many seasons. Its non-slip rubber grip secures the clamps properly to work surfaces up to 60 mm thick.
With horizontal and vertical work positions, you’re able to work on your skis or board from all angles efficiently. The Winterial vises also come equipped with two rubber ski brake retainers to keep them locked and out of the way while tuning. This is one of the best two-piece sets on the list given its stability and durability.
Built to hold wide skis and boards, the Demon Ski and Snowboard is a two-piece vise made of high quality nylon. They feature two side edge positions at a standard 90 or 60 degree angle, which works well for beginners. With a simple, rugged design, these vises have multiple rubber surface areas to protect your skis or boards from scratches and abrasions.
They also have a binding clearance of 160 mm. Although not quite as stable as some of the other metal vises on this list, the Demon Ski and Snowboard vise is light and easy to transport if you intend to go on a long winter trip. One of the cheaper sets on the list, these Demon vises are great for beginners on a budget.
A universal, easy to use setup, the WSD Ski and Snowboard vise is a great choice for beginners. Designed with a binding clearance of 158 mm, it can fit skis and boards of almost any size. Your gear can be mounted at a standard 60 or 90 degree angle for base and edge tuning.
Rubber is attached to the front of the vises to protect your gear and prevent it from moving around while you’re tuning. The clamps are compatible with tables or work surfaces up to 57 mm thick. Versatile and intuitive to use, the WSD Ski and Snowboard Vise is perfect for anyone looking to save some money and maintain their gear at home.
More Ski and Snowboard Tuning Vises
Ski and Snowboard Tuning Vises Buying Guide
A good set of vises is essential to anyone tuning their skis or snowboards at home. It’s critical for a skier or boarder to be able to stabilize their gear while working on it. The quality of tuning vises is determined by the material, setup, and versatility.
Ski and snowboarding tuning vises are typically constructed of plastic or metal. Read on below to understand the difference between these two materials.
Plastic (Nylon): Plastic, or nylon, is used mostly in beginner or budget vises. Inexpensive and lightweight, these vises tend to move around more while you’re scraping your skis or board. Therefore, you may need to apply more leverage while tuning if you have plastic vises. Most plastic vises have a grooved edge channel to hold your gear in an accessible way for edge sharpening and honing. Plastic is also great for travel since they’re more mobile than their heavier metal counterparts.
Metal: Metal is another common material used often in the best ski and snowboard tuning vises. Since metal is heavier and more stable, it provides a stiffer platform, which ensures your skis or boards will remain still as your scrape and brush them. Metal vises are also commonly equipped with thumb set screws to hold your gear into the edge channel. This is especially helpful while setting new edge bevels, re-sharpening, and planing sidewalls. Lastly, they’re often more durable than plastic and thus should last longer over time.
Type (Number of Pieces)
There are two main types of ski and snowboard tuning vises. Some are designed as a two-piece setup, while others are three. Read on below to understand the difference between these two types.
Two-piece: Exactly like it sounds, two-piece vises come with two vises for the ends of your skis or board. Most entry level or budget vises are two-piece setups and are often constructed of plastic. The biggest disadvantage of two-piece vises is the lack of support in the center, or waist, of your gear. Without anything to keep your skis in place in the middle, they can flex while you’re tuning, making the task more of a challenge. This issue is less noticeable with kids skis and snowboards because of their shorter lengths.
Three-piece: As you probably guessed, three-piece vises come with three vises for both the ends and the center of your skis or board. These can be constructed in either plastics or metal depending on the quality. The middle vise can be extremely helpful to hold your gear firmly in position while you’re working on it. Sometimes the center vise comes in the form of a band to help hold ski brakes out of the way while tuning. If you have a small workspace, it may be difficult for you to take advantage of three-piece vises because they need to be spaced decently apart. So, keep this in mind while making your decision!
Jaw Measurement & Construction
How wide the jaws, or clamps, open up varies from vise to vise. If you have a fatter set of skis or snowboard, you’ll want the opening range to be larger. Wider slots measuring 150 mm or more should do the trick. The best ski and snowboard tuning vises also line the jaws with rubber to provide better grip. Rubber is particularly good because it won’t leave behind and marks or scuffs on your gear.
Having the ability to mount your skis or snowboard at different angles is important for tuning. For example, you may want to lay your gear flat so you can touch up the base, but then switch to laying it on its side to focus on the edges. Standard mounting angles include 60 and 90 degrees. In addition, the tip and tail vises on the best ski and snowboard tuning vises can be pivoted in either direction to provide better visibility for edge work.
Thickness of Your Working Surface
To keep your gear secure, you’ll need a vise that accommodates the thickness of your working surface or tuning table. Most vises can fit around a surface of up to approximately 60 mm. This is fairly standard across all vises, from entry level to advanced, but it’s still good to check.
How to Use Ski Vises
Shop Related Products
Additional Tuning Tips and FAQs
What does it mean to tune skis?
You have to take care of your skis or snowboard the same way you take care of your car. Tuning your gear is similar to getting your oil changed; you have to do it every so often to keep your equipment working smoothly. Ski and snowboard tuning primarily involves doing base repair and edge work and waxing.
What do you need to tune skis?
The tools you need will differ depending on the work you’re doing. Ski tuning kits have everything you need, such as wax, tuning tools, brushes, and an iron . One of the best ski tuning kits is the Demon Charger because it includes vises. For all tuning activities, it’s good to also have clean towels and rubbing alcohol on hand.
- Base Repair Work Tools: Clean towels, base cleaner, rubbing alcohol, metal scraper, P-Tex candle, lighter, wire brush
- Edge Work Tools: Metal file, diamond stone, gummy stone, file guide
- Waxing Tools: Ski wax, waxing iron, wax scraper, waxing brush
How do I know if my skis need tuning?
You can tell you need a tune-up by the look and feel of your skis or board. Look at your base for scrapes or gouges, and check to see if there’s rust or burrs on your edges. If you have trouble initiating your turns, your edges may also need to be sharpened. Lastly, it’s always good to wax your skis or board a few times throughout the season to ensure they glide smoothly down the slopes.
How often should you tune your skis?
The more often you ski, the more wear and tear they’ll have. If you tend to ski in hard, icy conditions or prefer the backcountry where you’re more likely to hit unexpected obstacles, you’ll likely need to tune your gear more frequently. In general, it’s recommended to tune your gear every 5 - 15 days you use them on the snow.
Why do I need a tuning vise?
Ski tuning vises make tuning your gear much easier. They serve as a platform for your ski or board while you complete your tuning. They hold your gear in place while you work, which allows you to focus on the activity at hand. Simply put, with vises, you don’t need to apply as much pressure, or leverage, to keep your stuff still. You can make a DIY ski tuning vise or use another type of tool, such as a sawhorse, for this purpose. However, dedicated ski tuning vises will do the job better and should last for several years.
If you’re ready to or have already started waxing and tuning your skis at home, you need the proper tools. Consider purchasing a tuning kit and some vices an investment into your skiing and snowboarding. Plus, it’s kind of a fun hobby once you get the hang of it. The best ski and snowboard tuning vises keep your gear secure and stable during tuning. They should clamp firmly to your table or working surface and make the process of tuning your skis or board so much easier.